6.8/10
34,020
118 user 43 critic

Sea of Love (1989)

A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.

Director:

Harold Becker

Writer:

Richard Price
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Det. Frank Keller
Ellen Barkin ... Helen Cruger
John Goodman ... Det. Sherman
Michael Rooker ... Terry
William Hickey ... Frank Keller Sr.
Richard Jenkins ... Gruber
Paul Calderon ... Serafino
Gene Canfield ... Struk
Larry Joshua ... Dargan
John Spencer ... Lieutenant
Christine Estabrook ... Gina Gallagher / Lonelyheart
Barbara Baxley ... Miss Allen
Patricia Barry ... Older Woman
Mark Phelan ... Murdered Man
Michael O'Neill ... Raymond Brown
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Storyline

Frank Keller is a New York detective investigating a case of a serial killer who finds the victims through the lonely hearts column in newspapers. Keller falls in love with Helen, the main suspect in the case. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Deception is dangerous. Desire is deadly. See more »


Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1989 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Prohibida obsesión See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,017,840, 17 September 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$58,571,513

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$110,879,513
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is often credited as the film that pulled Al Pacino out of a slump of failures he'd starred in throughout the 1980s. See more »

Goofs

When Terry slams Frank against the mirror in Frank's apartment, we hear the sound of breaking glass, yet later in the scene the mirror appears intact. See more »

Quotes

Det. Frank Keller: Last time, she walked. Maybe this time I can get prints.
Det. Sherman: Yeah right. What are ya gonna do, Frank? Send your dick to the lab? Man, that'll be a hell of a story in court. "Well, Your Honor, first I whipped it out, then she whipped it out, if you know what I mean."
See more »

Alternate Versions

Several scenes featuring Lorraine Bracco as Al Pacino's wife were cut before release and reinserted for the film television premiere. These additions were all included on the Universal Thrillers VHS edition of the film. They are as follows: 1) Frank sees a suspicious man on the street and calls for back-up from a nearby pay phone. It is revealed that this man is a personal bodyguard for a child at a nearby school. Parts of this scene were included in the original theatrical trailer. 2) The complete scene with Lorraine Bracco in which she pleads with Frank to stop bothering her and her husband. She also reveals that she is pregnant. 3) Frank comes home to his apartment and is surprised by his father, played by William Hickey, who is already in the apartment. His father tells him about an old partner who just passed away. See more »


Soundtracks

Lament
Written by J.J. Johnson
Performed by Branford Marsalis
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licesing Department
See more »

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User Reviews

Lonely Nights
30 May 2005 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Al Pacino is excellent as the lonely and alcoholic Frank Keller, a veteran New York City cop, hot on the trail of a serial killer. In addition to Keller, and his tough-minded romantic interest, Helen, played well by Ellen Barkin, a third major character is the city wherein the story takes place. Ronnie Taylor's noirish cinematography and Trevor Jones' appropriately downbeat score paint rather a lonely picture of nighttime Manhattan, with all that colorful and flashy neon and the dreary rain. The overall effect is a sense of psychological isolation, alienation, and ... danger.

It's a perfect setting for a story about a series of murders, seemingly tied together by oldies-but-goodies songs. Keller searches for a killer who seems normal, but on the inside is a smoldering volcano. As a murder mystery, "Sea Of Love" works, because of its focus, and because of its restrictive narration. The viewer knows what Frank Keller knows, but nothing more. Clues are very subtle, and lie more in what is not said, than what is said. The ending was a surprise to me. I did not see it coming.

I have a couple of problems with the film, neither of which is serious. First, there are several plot segments that seem unnecessary, and could have been edited out. Second, certain scenes involving the victims are confusing.

"Sea Of Love" is a mystery/thriller that I recommend highly. It is psychologically intense, and it has an atmosphere that is suitably sinister. The acting, the music, the cinematography, the script, and the production design are all credible. And I could listen all day to that oldies-but-goodies song by Phil Phillips, from 1959.


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